Big Buddy FAQ
  1. What is the mission of the Big Buddy Program?
    • Mentor, Educate and Empower children who are experiencing homelessness.
  2. What are the goals of the Big Buddy Program?
    • Increase attitudes towards schooling.
    • Increase motivations towards literacy and reading
    • Increase knowledge in STEM-related academic subjects.
    • Develop positive attitudes & self-esteem beliefs.
    • Develop and increase emotional intelligence along with reducing personal worry and anxiety.
  3. Why mentoring?
    • Mentoring tells young people there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.
    • Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people – personally, academically, and professionally.
    • Mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity.
  4. What is the impact of service-learning experience on mentors?
    • Learn how to be an effective and inspiring leader by serving as a role model.
    • Develop practical skills such as remote management, lesson plan development, time management, goal setting, communication, leadership, and problem solving.
    • Gain experiential knowledge in educating, & fostering mentoring relationships with children of diverse, socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • Develop professional identity as emerging, caring educators and youth workers.
  5. What are the expectations for mentors?
    • Please see page 8 of the Program Manual.
  6. What should I do if I can no longer be a mentor?
    • Schedule time to discuss this with your Lead Mentor and send an email to schedule a meeting with the Program Coordinator at
  7. Who can I contact with questions?
    • Communicate any questions with your lead mentors. Send your lead mentor an email at
  8. Are Big Buddies required to enroll in a 3 credit course?
    • No. it’s not required anymore.
  9. Do Big Buddies get any academic credit?
    • Not at this moment.
Pay Roll, Stipend, Time Sheets & Hours
  1. What is the pay rate for Big Buddy Mentors?
    • $15 dollars per hour
  2. How many hours of service-learning are expected?
    • 55 hours
  3. How many hours a week am I expected to participate in the mentoring program?
    • Big Buddies commit 2 hours per week to engage with Little Buddies, with an additional commitment of 3 hours per week to complete administrative & preparatory tasks for Saturday meetings for a total of 10 weeks.
    • 1 hour: For individual prep time for developing mentoring and tutoring session agendas lesson plans, and finalizing virtual outing logistics
    • 1 hour: For mentoring conversation with mentees on Saturdays (Zoom 1:1 or 2:1)
    • 1 hours: For tutoring & virtual engagement sessions with mentees on Saturdays (Zoom group setting).
    • 2 hour: For completing administrative duties (journal reflections, surveys, paperwork, and providing insights and feedback to Lead Mentors and the program coordinator on Saturdays.
  4. How many hours will Big Buddy Mentors work during a week?
    • Generally, Big Buddy Mentors will work around 3-5 hours a week.
  5. How will Big Buddy Mentors get paid?
    • Big Buddy Mentors will get paid twice during the semester via Stipend Payments.
    • Check out the Big Buddy Calendar for exact dates. Please note, accessing the calendar requires a Google Account.
  6. When will mentors receive their stipend?
    • First Half Of Stipend: End of October 2020
    • Second Half Of Stipend: Middle of December 2020
  7. What do I need to do to get my stipend?
    • Submit a W9. Please see Page 26 Q10 in the Policy Manual.
Mentoring Sessions, Resources & Best Practices
  1. What needs to happen after each mentoring meeting on Saturday?
    • Complete the Progress Tracker, share progress and challenges with Lead Mentors, and make any notes for next week’s session.
  2. What should a mentor do if they cannot attend a session?
    • Let your Lead Mentor know as early as possible and send an email to
  3. How will each session be organized and conducted?
    • Virtual mentoring sessions will be held over Zoom. Please see Pg. 24 (Important Links Section) the Policy Manual for more details.
  4. Can I conduct my mentoring sessions on a different day than Saturday from 1-3pm?
    • Ideally, all sessions will be held on the same day and time. However, if there is a one-off request we can accommodate that. Please email the details to
  5. Is the Big Buddy Program going to be active only on Saturdays?
    • Initially, the program will only have activities on Saturdays.
    • Later on, schedules can adapt based on parents, mentees, and mentors.
  6. If my mentee’s parents ask to meet for our mentoring and tutoring sessions on a different day or time slot what should I do?
    • Please immediately alert us to this request via
  7. Where can I find lesson plans, grade level resources and virtual engagement opportunities for my mentee?
  8. Where can I find resources on mentoring best practices?
Little Buddies & The Mentoring Relationship
  1. Who should a mentor contact if there is an issue in the mentoring relationship?
    • Reach out to your assigned lead mentor and then also send an email to
  2. What should I do if my mentee doesn’t show up for our sessions?
    • Inform your lead mentor as early as possible and keep track of their attendance via the progress tracker.
  3. Should I give my cell phone number to my mentees’ parents?
    • If you feel comfortable. We recommend using a Google Phone.
Professional Development Sessions
  1. Am I required to attend all Professional Development sessions?
    • The expectation is that you will attend these as they are during Free Hour. However, if you are unable to join us for one of the PD events, please email us ahead of time and we will share the recording and ask you to submit a brief write-up. Please email
Progress Trackers
  1. Where can I access the mentee progress tracker?
    • Please see Pg. 24 (Important Links Section) of the Policy Manual.
  2. When are the project trackers due?
    • Immediately after each session on Saturday.